Let’s start by defining for ourselves what a positive mindset is. Personally, I like the following quote.
“Positive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook. It does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things; instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.” By Kendra Cherry
Positivity as a starting point
So a positive mindset is not that you always be happy. It also doesn’t mean that you will ignore the negative situations.
A positive mindset will handle a negative situation differently than people with a non-positive mindset. With a positive mindset, you will act differently in negative situations.
A man lost its job, a job that he loved so much. Because the company is going through a re-organization.
If the man has got a positive mindset, he will definitely feel sad. But will see that his boss does need to make choices. Maybe the person will start thinking about new challenges in other jobs or building its own business.
Reflection People with a positive mindset will stay more calm, even though he feels sad. But it’s a starting point to build new things on. Things that can help achieve even more than the man already had done.
If the man did not develop a positive mindset, he will be sad and even mad at his boss. Sad that he picked him to leave the company. Did he even think about his family?
Reflection People that did not develop a positive mindset, will react mad or even angry. It pulls the man (in this situation) in negative emotion. It would be possible that this man will have a lot of stress.
Positive or non-positive?
If you ask me, I would prefer the man with a positive mindset. We all know that stress is not good for people. Only in situations where you have to react very fast. But stress, in the long run, is not good for people!
It is a choice, make it a habit
A positive mindset is not something that you will overcome. Well some people do is easier than others. If I look to myself, I find this most of the time a very natural way of thinking.
A positive mindset will always be focussed on solutions instead of problems.
A positive mindset needs to be developed into a habit. Just like you have to stop with bad habits one at a time, it’s the same for the good habits.
To develop your new good habit of a positive mindset, I want to challenge you to write down every day 3 positive things and 1/3 situations that were negative that day.
With this challenge, you make it very realistic how you handle situations. After you have written it down, you can teach yourself how to do it better.
This is how I would write it down for myself.
- Today very thankful for the great weekend with my family
- Today I had a great conversation at work with my boss.
- Today I felt full of positive energy!
- Last I thought my boss was a jerk, but now I discovered he is going to a difficult time
- Today I was not so nice to my wife
3. Action points
- Next time I won’t judge other people anymore
- Next time I will tell my wife that I feel bad about something instead of being a jerk
This is what we call a retrospective, this is inspired by the Scrum framework, that’s a way of working in software development. But it perfectly applies to people’s lives!
Do this every day! Print out the A4 paper and write your points on sticky notes!
Maybe this was not a story you would expect from a developer, but this is how I live day by day. I work on a positive mindset every day! It’s not about becoming a perfect human being, no it is about making your life a lot easier and relaxed.
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